Recently, I was given a devotional called the land between. It focuses on finding God in the transitions of life and uses the Israelites wandering around in the desert to back up its points. This morning as I was sitting in a coffee shop located in a small valley town next to the Rocky Mountains, I picked up the book and started reading. It didn’t take 3 pages before light bulbs started going off in my head.
“The desert is not intended to be their final destination but rather a necessary middle space where they will be formed as a people and established in their connection to God. But a desert of course is a hard place…the undesired space between more desirable spaces.” Initially, before reaching Kenya, I pictured more of a desert area. While I foundation lush green vegetative space, I’m realizing that Africa was still my desert. It was during my time there that I was stripped of all familiarity, relationships, and comfort. It was there that God began to shape, mold, and transform me. And I needed transformation. I’m in a period of waiting – of transition. I believe I needed Kenya before I could ever embark on a relationship. Before being able to love someone else and truly serve my future husband, I had to understand the depth of the Lords love for me. I had to learn to fully trust him and leave the pen in His hands. The desert made me rely on the Lord. I had no control and couldn’t plan.
Similar to the Israelites, while I was in Kenya, I had the same meal every day for a week. My friend Sarah and I began to affectionately name it our “manna.” Not only did I have physical manna, but I also had spiritual manna. Kenya was challenging and many times I felt weak, but God provided and infused his strength. Before Kenya, my current condition was not where I needed to be for the big future that I know God has waiting for me. I believe I’m on the outskirts of the desert and coming near the land of milk and honey. Patience and trust is still needed as I begin to end my time in the desert. I’m grateful for the desert because while transformation is painful, I like who God is transforming me into. I’m grateful that he takes the time to transform me. I’m glad that he loves me enough to send me through the desert.